NEW YORK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided that a judge can’t issue a stay on a proposed $4.7 billion class-action settlement with the families of those killed by asbestos exposure.
The decision from a U.K. judge in April was the first legal victory for the families and their lawyers in a long-running litigation that has drawn national attention in the wake of the 2010 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The settlement would allow affected families to sue the makers of the product, known as Formaldehyde-14, to recoup damages.
The companies have long insisted that the chemicals are safe and are the reason their products are sold in the U.N. and other countries.
ruling, which could not be disclosed publicly until now, is likely to lead to the final settlement with all affected families.
It could also pave the way for the company to pay a much larger class-wide settlement.